Posted On Friday, January 15, 2021
Author: David Armitage (Technical Director)
As discussed in this series, having bad SEO work done to your site can actually have a negative effect on your website's rankings with search engines, and as such, should be avoided. So what might you need to worry about if you think this has happened to your website? Probably nothing worth crying over, but you could be in for a bit of frustration.\
The consequences vary, as you can probably imagine, depending on the perceived magnitude of the infraction. And remember, due to the scale of the task of indexing and ranking every single publicly available webpage, image, PDF, video and more on the internet, for every search term someone might possibly type in, you are being perceived solely by algorithms. No option to appeal with a sob story here.
Best case scenario of being caught trying to black-hat your way to the top of the search results is they just ignore your bad efforts, and you are rated as per usual on your other merits. Not the end of the world, but no one wants to be paying for a service and getting nothing out of it.
Another likely option, if they are deemed to be considerably bad, is that you will actually lose points with Google, giving you the opposite of the desired effect of your efforts. Again, not the end of the world but justifying of unhappiness on your behalf.
And of course, the worst, most extreme case, “Goodbye Google search result pages!”. The last thing you want is them dropping the ban hammer on you!!! You would have had to have had some truly unscrupulous work done to achieve this though. This is normally reserved for nasty and malicious sites. Think identity theft and scams.
Fortunately, Google tends to be quite forgiving regarding all this though due to a number of reasons that a site owner can’t be totally blamed for. They understand that perfectly legit, visitor deserving companies can be steered down the dark path unknowingly by a bad SEO actor. There are also other circumstances where punishing a site owner might be unfair, like if someone buys a pre-used domain name, unaware of it also being pre-sullied.
Another, extreme case is something called negative SEO. This is when someone knowingly performs the most terrible SEO tactics that are well known, and in this case, intended to infuriate search engines. Thing is, they perform it on your site, not theirs. It is basically SEO sabotage and while uncommon, it does happen.
Fortunately, most dodgy SEO work can be undone, though time consuming, and we’ll show you how to in another article. So, don’t worry too much if you think you might have had a crook job done, it is probably fixable. You can always contact us if you are worried and want a professional opinion. And of course, if you are planning to get some SEO work done then make super-duper sure that they won’t be trying to use any trickery to get you to the top and approach with caution.